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Mobile phone complaints

Mobile phone contracts can be complicated, especially if you buy your phone from one company and your tariff from another.

This page tells you who to contact if you have a complaint with your mobile phone.

Most companies will have a complaint handling procedure. You can get a copy of the complaint handling procedure from their website, or it may be printed on the back of a phone bill or in a code of practice.

Mobile phone contracts can be very complicated and you can end up paying for services you're not receiving as a result. If you have a problem with your mobile phone contract and your not sure what to do, you can get help from Citizens Advice.

Who to contact

Your tariff and phone are from two different companies

In general, if the complaint is about tariffs, billing and coverage you should contact your service provider.

If the complaint is about the initial sale or handset, for example, about mis-selling or a faulty phone, and the handset was bought from an independent outlet you should contact the independent outlet.

If you have a problem with either your service or phone which causes you to lose money, you may be able to claim it back from the company. For example, your phone turns out to be faulty. You send it back to the company you bought it from to be repaired. It takes one month to repair the phone. During that time you haven’t been able to use the service you’ve been paying for. This is a loss to you. You could ask your phone provider to pay you the cost of the month’s service rental that you couldn’t use.

You bought your tariff and phone from an independent outlet

An independent outlet is a company that acts like a broker. They offer a variety of phones or tariffs from different network providers. For example, the Carphone Warehouse or Phones4U.

If you bought from an independent outlet, you should contact them with your complaint as your contract is with them.

If you bought a phone and tariff at the same time from an independent outlet, then that outlet is responsible for any problems you may have with the phone and the service if you paid your money to them. However, the service provider may be best placed to resolve any problems with the tariff and service, so you may find it more convenient to contact the service provider directly.

If your complaint is not resolved

If your complaint is not resolved satisfactorily, you could complain to an independent ombudsman if the company is a member. They may look into your complaint on your behalf.

You could also report your complaint to Ofcom.

Next steps

Citizens Advice

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